This article was written by Kim Cristian. Kim is a freelance writer specialising in all things expat. Having spent many years living and working overseas, Kim has built up the insights and experience for the expat advice found on her blog. When moving to the UAE from Ireland, you need to plan your accommodation, visas, employment and how to get access to a regular supply of Tayto crisps in the UAE. You can prepare easily for all the above by looking online, checking forums or reading our guide to the cost of living in the UAE for an Irish expat. However there are cultural differences that you will only truly understand when you arrive, the funny quirks or norms that you should prepare for when you plan to move to the UAE from Ireland.CurrencyFair specialise in being transparent and fair at all times – like when we are sending money overseas. See how much you can save when using CurrencyFair for your money transfers.
Differences to life in the UAE for an Irish expatThe UAE shares many similarities with Ireland. A great reputation for friendly people, beautiful scenery and a host of cultural attractions and things to do. However there are some differences that an Irish expat will have to adjust to if they are moving to the UAE.
I don’t like SundaysThousands of expats in the UAE have moved there for a better salary and to avail of new improved job opportunities, however the UAE “working week” will also take some getting used to. In the UAE, the working week is Sunday to Thursday. So Sunday is the new Monday and your Friday night out will now take place on Thursday meaning TGIF, is now TGIT. But it does also mean you are off work to drop into the all day brunches held in expat hubs throughout the UAE (which we look at later). Your workday might also be interrupted depending on how hot it gets. UAE Labour law states that if temperatures reach 50 degree, workers have to down tools and stop.
Wear sunscreenIrish skin is made for the mixed weather that comes with being on the edge of the world in the Atlantic. We often have to endure dark overcast skies, soft rain and cold nights – and that is just our summers. Most Irish skin is not genetically predisposed to taking to the sunshine. After exposing our limbs to hot rays, we usually lose the battle and end up a nice shade of lobster red instead of having a golden tan. With year round sunshine and temperatures reaching 40 degrees and above, you will have to adjust to applying a generous layer of a high factor sunscreen every day if you move to the UAE from Ireland.
Should I stay or should I go nowAn extension period of 5 years has been announced for expat retirees who wish to stay longer in the UAE. Expats who relocated to the UAE mid-career, may not have kept a home in Ireland and are now planning to retire. However when they analyse the uncertain condition of the property market in Ireland, they might be deterred from moving home just yet. These proposed new visa laws are welcomed by long-term UAE expat residents who can continue to enjoy the life they have built overseas while giving them the time to plan their next steps. To qualify for the new over-55s visa in the UAE:
- Expats must own a real estate investment of at least AED 2 million
- Have savings of more than AED 1 million
- Or prove income of at least AED 20,000 per month.